General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 138 in 1900; Jewish population in 1933: 39
Summary: A Jewish community formed in Eberbach during the late 1600s, but it was not until 1832, when five families hired a teacher, that the community received official status. The Eberbach Jews established a prayer hall in the 1840s, a synagogue in 1860, a cemetery in 1891, and also a school at some point during the 1800s. A new synagogue—the congregation also maintained a mikveh—was inaugurated in Eberbach in 1913. In 1933, the teacher (he also served as a chazzan and shochet) instructed nine pupils in religion. That same year, Nazis arrested a local Jew accused of being a Communist; he eventually died in a concentration camp. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue was burned down: holy books and Torah scrolls were “secured” by police, Jewish-owned businesses were wrecked and six Jewish men were detained, two of whom ended up in Dachau. Fifteen Eberbach Jews escaped the country, three relocated within Germany, two died in Eberbach, and 17 were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. Only one Jewish woman, who had married a Christian, was spared deportation. At least 40 Eberbach Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1979, a plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site.
Photo: The synagogue of Eberbach. Courtesy of: The Wiener Archive.
Author / Sources: Maren Cohen
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg